|Ken Novak's Weblog
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Sunday, November 30, 2003
Public diplomacy: Council on Foreign Relations report recommending how to improve perceptions of US abroad -- the old Radio Free Europe model won' t work: "we must make clear the U.S. government’s commitment to public diplomacy as a central element in U.S. foreign policy. Significant reform is urgently needed to bring strategicplanning, focus, resources, and badly needed coordination to this effort. Specifically, ..
- Increase customized, “two-way” dialogue, as contrasted to conventional one-way, “push-down” mass communication
- Significantly increase private sector involvement, including greater use of credible and independent messengers, and the creation of an independent, not-forprofit “Corporation for Public Diplomacy.”
- State Department reforms that make public diplomacy central to the work of all diplomats andambassadors, a Quadrennial Diplomacy Review, an Independent Public Diplomacy Training Institute, and a Public Diplomacy Reserve Corps. .. "
: ""In general," says Robert Wright, author of "Nonzero," "too few who opposed the war understand the gravity of the terrorism problem, and too few who favored it understand the subtlety of the problem."" 11:19:42 PM
EC/US Divergence: "around the middle of the 1980's, the U.S. and Europe started to diverge. The American work ethic shifted, so that the average American now works 350 hours a year — 9 or 10 weeks — longer than the average European. American fertility rates bottomed out around 1985, and began rising. Native-born American women now have almost two children on average, while the European rate is 1.4 children per woman and falling. .. The gap between American and European G.D.P. per capita has widened over the past two decades, and at the moment American productivity rates are surging roughly 5 percent a year.
The biggest difference is that over the past two decades the United States has absorbed roughly 20 million immigrants. This influx of people has led, in the short term, to widening inequality and higher welfare costs as the immigrants are absorbed, but it also means that the U.S. will be, through our lifetimes, young, ambitious and energetic. Working off U.N. and U.S. census data, Bill Frey, the indispensable University of Michigan demographer, projects that in the year 2050 the median age in the United States will be 35. The median age in Europe will be 52." 11:15:43 PM
Krugman's long view on development:
"in the mid-1970's, development economics was just too depressing to pursue. Indeed, it might as well have been called non-development economics. No third world nation had made the transition to advanced-country status since 19th-century Japan. Circa 1975 it seemed that the club of nations with decent living standards was no longer accepting new members.
Now we know that the club isn't that exclusive, after all. South Korea and several smaller Asian economies have made a full transition to modernity. China is still a poor country, but it has made astonishing progress. And there are signs of an economic takeoff in at least parts of India. I'm not talking about arid economic statistics; what we've seen over the past generation is an enormous, unexpected improvement in the human condition.
How was this improvement achieved? .. every one of those development success stories was based on export-led growth. And that growth is possible only if rising economies can expand into new markets. Some critics of globalization seem to be nostalgic for the era before the big growth in third-world exports of manufactured goods. I'm not, because I remember the way that era really felt, our despair over the possibility of development." 11:05:10 PM